Surgeons at the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute perform ACL reconstruction to replace the ligament in the center of your knee with a new ligament. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) keeps your shin bone (tibia) in place. A tear of this ligament can cause your knee to give way during physical activity, or even everyday movements.
Using a fiberoptic camera inserted through a mini-incision in the knee, surgeons remove the old ligament with a shaver or other instruments. The tissue that replaces your damaged ACL comes from your own body or from donor tissue.
The tissue taken from your own body is called an autograft. Surgeons usually remove tissue from a tendon in your knee or your hamstring (tendon behind the knee). Tunnels are made in your bone to bring the new tissue through, attaching the newly fashioned ligament to the bone with screws or other devices to hold it in place. As it heals, the bone tunnels fill in and further secure the ligament. The small incisions are closed with sutures and then bandaged.
Reconstruction of a torn ACL is vital to contain tissue damage and prevent early arthritis. Knee pain, an inability to play sports (especially cutting or pivoting), instability in walking (a knee that suddenly gives out) are all associated with a torn ACL.
Proper rehabilitation is key to recovery. You’ll want to follow your surgeon’s instructions, as well as your physical therapist’s tailored regimen.
Call 215-481-BONE to find an Institute physician today.